I thought it was inevitable.

Type 2 diabetes. Heart Disease. Hypertension. Stroke. Cancer.

Chronic diseases and conditions like these are prevalent, affecting so many people that we know and love.

I thought it was just a part of life. Developing a chronic disease of some kind as I aged was highly likely, and there wasn’t much I could do about it.

Then I learned the astonishing truth:

80% of chronic disease is preventable1

80% of heart disease

80% of strokes

40% of cancer

Almost ALL type 2 diabetes

When I first learned this truth it blew my mind.

Millions are needlessly suffering – and dying – from conditions that are entirely preventable with some simple diet and lifestyle changes.

Some of these changes are easy. Other changes may not be so easy, (habit change can be difficult,) but they are certainly doable and yes, simple.

And I would argue, entirely worth every effort.

Who doesn’t want more healthy years to enjoy time with their children, grandchildren and other dear friends?

Even if we have a family history of heart disease or type 2 diabetes, we don’t have to develop the same condition. It is not inevitable. (I’ll get into genetics and epigenetics in another post.)

It is possible to live a long, healthy and happy life!

When I learned this truth, and really absorbed it, I took a good, hard look at what I was feeding myself and my family.

We ate the Standard American Diet (SAD.) At dinner, meat was always the star of the plate, with a couple of token vegetables alongside. Lunch was sometimes a salad, but more often it was a meat and cheese sandwich or a burger. Vegetables at breakfast were unheard of.

When I added it all up, we were consuming only about 2-3 servings of vegetables a day, plus a serving of fruit.

What I thought was a healthy diet was in reality not even close to a health promoting diet. We were sadly deficient in nutrient-dense, fiber-rich plant foods.

In future posts I’ll be sharing how a whole food plant-rich diet can reduce our risk of chronic disease.

Why?

Because the needless suffering has to stop.

Because it’s absolutely necessary that we take a good, hard look at how we are feeding ourselves – and our families – and how we are living our lives. By making incremental improvements in our diets and lifestyle – one doable step at a time – we can enjoy better health and longer lives.

Our children are worth it.

YOU are worth it.

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Resources

  1. http://www.who.int/chp/chronic_disease_report/part1/en/index11.html